Rev Dr Edgar Mayer; Living Grace Toowoomba Church; Message on Sowing And Reaping – Healing School 02; Date: 25 April 2010

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Impossible Not To

 

It is impossible to sow and not reap in prayer. This is the most important encouragement of the second lesson in our Prayer School (by Suzette Hattingh & Gayle Claxton). It is impossible to sow and not reap in prayer which means in plain language: It is impossible to pray and not have results. There will always be results. Always! The same principle of sowing and reaping that applies to nature and farming (for instance, you sow a barley seed and get a barley plant – you sow an apple seed and get an apple tree) also applies in our relationship with God. You think a thought – you act out a deed – and you have sown something which is going to produce a harvest – always.

The Bible teaches – (and this reading begins on a more serious note which we will take up first before we unfold the encouragement for today) – Galatians 6:7-9: “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” I read the same Bible passage again – in more modern English [the Message]: “Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others – ignoring God – harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.”

We are hearing the serious note first: “Do not be deceived. God is not mocked.” However – the question is – how would anyone mock God? (How would anyone make a fool of God?) [Answer:] By acting as if the law of sowing and reaping did not apply to you. There were some Christians who wanted the blessings of God – the right kind of harvest – the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience … (Galatians 5:22-23) and – thus – they praised God and loved him on Sunday mornings but – for the rest of the week – they lived a corrupt life – full of hidden sins and selfishness. This was living in spiritual la-la-land (spiritual nonsense) and this was mocking God – not treating him with any respect. For some of us the warning in the Bible is necessary: Do not be deceived. No one can turn up their noses at what God has decreed: Whatever you sow, you reap.

In case we do not know some of the bad seeds, which produce bad fruit, the Bible gives us a helpful list – Galatians 5:19-21: “The acts of the sinful nature [what the sinful nature is sowing] is obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and shameful deeds; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies and the like …” These seeds – these acts of the sinful nature – are not going to produce any good fruit and – therefore – the Bible reading concludes by saying: “ … I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Now – with this list and the warning that bad seeds produce bad fruit – we have come to the end of the bad news for this morning. The principle of sowing and reaping was never meant to bring us down (it’s a principle of life – making all of creation explode with expansion – birthing new things) but to encourage us and excite us and make us live a life of abundance where a few seeds multiply into an amazing harvest.

Consider only a small selection of Bible passages which further confirm the principle of sowing and reaping for all of life – Psalm 126:5: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” 2 Corinthians 9:6-11: “ Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously … God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work … he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion … your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”  Malachi 3:10: “‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse [bring me the whole tenth of your income], that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’” [Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap … ”] Luke 18:29: “ … I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.” Matthew 13:23: “But the one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the person who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” And again from the opening Bible reading – Galatians 6:7-9: “ … you reap whatever you sow … if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit … we will reap at harvest time … ”

This Bible principle of sowing and reaping comes with some practical lessons for us. 1) You sow before you reap the harvest. This may sound obvious but many a time we complain and argue with God that this principle should be the other way round: “God, if you want me to sow, let me experience a harvest first. How can you expect anything from me, when I am only a baby Christian and am struggling with so much? There is not enough money. There is conflict in the family. There are cravings and addictions. God, I’ve messed up my life and I’m not ready. Let others do the serving and the giving and let me enjoy the church for a while. Then – down the track – when I am better, I will join in.” And – relating this to our prayer school: “God, I’m needy. Let others pray for me and let me experience the answers of their prayers first before I join in and also pray.” According to the principle of sowing and reaping this is wrong. You do not wait until the harvest so that you can – from the abundance of the crop – give a few seeds back to God. You do the sowing beforehand – before the harvest – when the stock of seeds is scarce – when sacrifice is involved – when the reward for what you are doing is not immediate.

Jesus himself sowed before the harvest and he asks us to do the same – John 12:23-26: “Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The person who loves his life will lose it, while the person who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life … My Father will honour the one who serves me.’”

Jesus used his entire life as a seed and then even sowed his own death on a cross so that as he died – as he (the kernel of wheat) died in the ground – the harvest would come. He himself would enjoy the firstfruits of his own resurrection and then all those that put their faith in him – an astounding harvest of an abundance of souls – will also rise (because of him) to eternal life. The Bible says – 1 Corinthians 15:20-23: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep … the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man … in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.”

Jesus Christ sowed with his life on earth and – as the Bible records – his life circumstances were marked by poverty, conflict, rejection, betrayal, torture and death. Yet, Jesus kept sowing – he kept enduring – because he knew that you have to sow before you reap a harvest. In the same way he admonished us – I repeat some words from the previous Bible reading – John 12:23-26: “ … I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. [This does not only apply to me, Jesus.] The person who loves his life will lose it, while the person who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life … My Father will honour the one who serves me.’”

This is fundamental. The principle of sowing and reaping has an eternal perspective. In this life we sow and in the life to come we reap. Therefore, hang in there in this life. Do not give up. (Sowing time is not harvest time.) Should you die – like Jesus – for your faith and doing the will of the Father in heaven, rejoice because the harvest is coming. None of your sacrifices will be in vain. It is impossible to sow and not reap a harvest. One persecuted Christian said in the Bible – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18: “ … our light and momentary troubles [and he means here: floggings, being stoned, ship-wrecked in the service of preaching the Gospel, always being on the move, going without sleep, knowing hunger and thirst, being worried about the faith of other Christians] are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” The principle of sowing and reaping has an eternal perspective.

However – at the same time – the principle of sowing and reaping is in operation even now here on earth and you are encouraged to expect a harvest any time soon. The principle of sowing and reaping underpins everything that we do and produces results – constantly. For instance, – in the Bible – a crowd of five thousand was hungry and Jesus asked the disciples to feed them. They did not have enough food but Jesus asked them to sow what they had which was five loaves and two fish. Only the disciples were hungry themselves and they may not have felt like sharing the little that they had but Jesus asked them to give away their lunch – to sow their little lunch – so that there could be a harvest in God.

Then this is what happened – Matthew 14:19-20: “ … Taking the five loaves and two fish and looking up to heaven, Jesus gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.” What was sown multiplied and produced a harvest – complete with leftovers – already in this life.

Then, the same miracle – operating with the same principle – happened not much later. This time it was a crowd of four thousand that was hungry and what could be sown was not more than seven loaves and a few small fish. Yet, it was enough because whatever you give to God is a seed that can multiply into an astonishing harvest – Matthew 15:36-37: “Then Jesus took the seven loaves and the fish, and when he had given thanks, he broke them and gave them … They all ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”

And just in case that we do not expect this to be our normal faith experience, Jesus admonished his disciples when they failed to bank on the same harvest at a time of similar need – Matthew 16:8-10: “ … You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls were gathered? Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls were gathered?” What Jesus was saying is this: “Don’t you understand that God is the God of the harvest and that when you sow, you will reap?”

Therefore, be encouraged – Psalm 126:5: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Galatians 6:7-9: “ … you reap whatever you sow … So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.” You sow before you reap a harvest.

Abbreviate and retell in your own words – Norman Grubb: Rees Howells Intercessor, Cambridge: Lutterworth Press 1952, p152-157:

 

“Then in the midst of all this, God called again. He and his wife had a burden of prayer for some missionary friends in West Africa, Mr. And Mrs. Stober of the Angola Evangelical Mission. They felt they should help them in some way, and while they were asking the Lord about it, they read in their magazine that a little girl, Edith, had been born to them. Mr. Howells knew West Africa was no climate for children, so he told his wife that this would be a chance to help them – they could take the little girl while the parents were in Africa. It was a real test; Mrs. Howells would be tied at home, yet the child would never become theirs. She made the decision. ‘If they give their lives for Africa,’ she said, ‘I will give mine for the child.’ They wrote and told the Stobers, but the answer came that they were soon coming home and could then talk it over.

‘I met my friend Stober at the Llandrindod Convention,’ said Mr. Howells. ‘He did not say anything for the first few days, and it wasn’t until I was on my way to the missionary meeting that he told me how thankful he and his wife were for the offer we had made, but that they were not wanting to leave Edith just then. I walked straight into the meeting, and there I saw a vision of Africa! Mrs. Albert Head was speaking on behalf of the South Africa General Mission, and pleading for a married couple to take the place of Mr. and Mrs. Edgar Faithfull, as he was becoming the home secretary. I had heard many people speaking on the need of the mission field, but I never 'saw' the heathen in their need until that afternoon. The Lord gave me a vision of them, and they stood before me as sheep without a shepherd.’

Rees returned home on Saturday and told Elizabeth, especially about the married couple. That night they prayed for this couple, and could not stop praying for a long time. When they did stop, they could not sleep; and before the morning the Lord had said, ‘I will answer the prayer through you. I will send you both out there.’

‘It was the greatest surprise of our lives,’ said Rees. ‘We thought we had a vision of the Africans in order to burden us to pray for someone else to go, but with the Lord we can only push others as far as we are willing to be pushed ourselves. There were a thousand and one hindrances, but the Lord would take no excuses—where there’s a will, there’s a way!’

The greatest problem was that a little boy had been born to them. At the time they had offered to adopt Edith, they had no child. ‘We had told each other that those missionaries ought to give the child up and devote all their time to the work,’ said Mr. Howells, ‘but we little thought that we were preparing a trap for ourselves; what we thought others should do, we were now called to do!’

Months before their little boy was born, the Lord told them to call his name Samuel. There was no Samuel in the family; it was given them, just as the name of John was given to Zacharias. There were several similarities in his life to the one he was named after: one being that Mrs. Howells’ name was Hannah, and she too was now to put her son on the altar of sacrifice.

‘It was our first test on the call, and the greatest,’ said Mr. Howells, who tells the story in his own words. ‘The Savior had said, Anyone who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me, and now the Holy Ghost said to us, You must prove to Me that you love the souls of the Africans who are to live for eternity more than you love your own son.

Does He really mean it? I wondered. Yes, He meant it, just as He told Abraham to take his only son up the mountain and offer him as a whole burnt offering. Many a time I had preached about Abraham giving up Isaac, and had emphasized the words, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest. How little had I realized what that had meant to him!

I knew what it was to give my life, but to give another's life away was as different as two things could be. God had given us Samuel’s name before he was born, and I knew He had a purpose for his life, and this was our test. God said, If you give him up, you can never claim him again. Not once has it ever dawned on us since then that Samuel was ours.

We were to surrender him as really as God surrendered His own Son, and Abraham his son. Unless your surrender is real and up to the standard, you will break down long before the end. It wasn’t a question of leaving Samuel behind, and then that he should call our attention back to himself; no thought of Samuel was to bring us back to this country.

The time came for my wife to take a course of Bible training. We did not know what place the Lord would open for little Samuel. We left it entirely in the hands of the Lord; we wouldn't have dared to interfere, or we could have made the greatest mistake.

A few weeks before the time for us to leave I was sent for by my uncle, a brother of the one who was healed; his wife was the headmistress in the country school where they lived in Garnant, near Ammanford. He asked if we were taking Samuel with us. I said, No. Where is he going to? I said I didn't know. Well, he said, he is to come here. They had never seen him, although they lived within three or four miles, but he said that a few nights before, something came over them about him, and they wanted to nurse him while we were away. In a couple of days they were coming up to see him.

Walking home that day to tell my wife was more than one could bear. Although we had given him up in our hearts, when the Lord actually opened a door for him, it was like pulling one’s heart to pieces. But before I had reached home, I had enough victory to control myself; it would have been no use for me to show my wife that I was giving way.

When I arrived home she was playing with Samuel. I thought I had never seen him as he was that night, and for a time I could not break the news. But I took courage and told her. The scene that followed can better be imagined than described, and we were glad we only had to go through it once in a lifetime. We proved that night that Africa was going to cost us something. We were coming up to the victory by degrees; the process was slow and hard. Because it was going to be an intercession, one had to walk every inch.

My uncle and aunt came up, and they had never seen a child like him! Without a doubt the Lord had put a father’s and mother’s love in their hearts toward him. The first thing they did was to invite my sister to be his nurse. It was like Miriam and Moses.

The morning came when my sister arrived to fetch him. I think in eternity we shall look back on what we went through then, giving our best to the Lord. We knew what it was to give money, health, and many other things, but this was the hardest test.

The devil was not quiet that morning. He said I was the hardest man in the world to give my little child up. The worst of all was to enter into the feelings of my wife, preparing his clothes, etc. His going out was more than emptying the house—he emptied our hearts too.

When I came home that night, I asked my wife, How did you get through? She said she went into the garden and wept, and thought to herself, I have been singing that hymn many a time:

 

But we never can prove the delights of His love,

Until all on the altar we lay,

 

and this morning I have to prove it. But then the Lord told me, Measure it with Calvary. And with those words she came through.

In praying together afterwards, the Lord showed me the reward. He said to us, For everything you give up for Me, there is the hundredfold; and on this you can claim 10,000 souls in Africa, and we believed it.’

After Mr. and Mrs. Howells left for Africa, Samuel became so completely a son to Mr. and Mrs. Rees that his name was changed to Samuel Rees. He grew up with them and later went to Oxford University where he graduated. It was with him literally, as with Samuel of old, that he seemed set apart for the Lord and served Him from his youth up. He accepted Christ as his personal Savior at the age of twelve. His adopted parents wanted him to become a doctor, but Samuel felt the Lord’s call to the ministry. After his University course he came back to join his own father (with his foster parents’ loving consent) although Mr. and Mrs. Howells never raised one finger to draw him in their direction. It was God who sent him back to them.

Samuel became Assistant Director of the Bible College of which, after his father’s home call, he became Director, and was once again known to everybody by the name of Samuel Rees Howells. How perfectly the Lord fulfilled the promises given to his father and mother even before his birth, and how abundantly the Lord honored the sacrifice made by his parents in giving him up and the love and care showered on him by his foster parents.”

 

Rees Howells and his wife sowed their son and it was a lot harder than sowing money or health or other things and they were sowing him at a time when they only prepared for the mission journey to Africa and there was no harvest yet. We sow before we reap a harvest. However, God confirmed to them the principle: “For everything you give up for Me, there is the hundredfold; and on this you can claim 10,000 souls in Africa.” And they believed him and in due time the harvest came – Norman Grubb: Rees Howells Intercessor, Cambridge: Lutterworth Press 1952, p167-168:

 

“The Sunday was October 10—my birthday—and as I preached in the morning, you could feel the Spirit coming on the congregation. In the evening, down He came. I shall never forget it. He came upon a young girl, Kufase by name, who had fasted for three days under conviction that she was not ready for the Lord’s coming. As she prayed she broke down crying, and within five minutes the whole congregation were on their faces crying to God. Like lightning and thunder the power came down. I had never seen this, even in the Welsh Revival. I had only heard about it with Finney and others. Heaven had opened, and there was no room to contain the blessing.

I lost myself in the Spirit and prayed as much as they did. All I could say was, ‘He has come!’ We went on until late in the night; we couldn’t stop the meeting. What He told me before I went to Africa was actually taking place, and that within six weeks. You can never describe those meetings when the Holy Spirit comes down. I shall never forget the sound in the district that night—praying in every kraal.

The next day He came again, and people were on their knees till 6 p.m. This went on for six days and people began to confess their sins and come free as the Holy Spirit brought them through. They had forgiveness of sins, and met the Savior as only the Holy Spirit can reveal Him. Everyone who came near would go under the power of the Spirit. People stood up to give their testimonies, and it was nothing to see twenty-five on their feet at the same time.

At the end of one week nearly all were through. We had two revival meetings every day for fifteen months without a single break, and meetings all day on Fridays. Hundreds were converted—but we were looking for more—for the ten thousand, upon whom He had told us we had a claim.

As the news reached England of this breaking forth of the Spirit, and its spread to neighboring stations, Mrs. Bessie Porter Head, the wife of Mr. Albert Head, published two booklets. They were called Advance in Gazaland, and Retrospect and Revival in Gazaland … ”

 

Rees Howells Intercessor, Cambridge: Lutterworth Press 1952, p175-176:

 

“In ways like these the Holy Ghost came down on every station and gave revival, exactly as He had said He would do, and fulfilled the promise of the 10,000 souls. In Johannesburg, for instance, Mr. Howells conducted great revival meetings for twenty-one days in one of the largest churches and it was packed every night. He had to speak through three interpreters, there were so many different tribes, but that did not hinder the Spirit breaking through and hundreds coming out every night for salvation.

No one was more conscious than His servant that the Holy Ghost was the Doer of it, and that it was ‘not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit.’ He laid hands on hundreds under the Spirit’s power and guidance, and they came free every time. Outside the meetings he would look at his hands, see how ordinary they were, and wonder where the power came from! But he knew!”

 

Rees Howells and his wife sowed before the harvest and it was not easy for them but they trusted the Bible verse which we can all trust  – Psalm 126:5: “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.”

The Bible principle of sowing and reaping comes with another practical lesson: 2) You sow what you want to harvest. I will not spend a lot of time on this but this makes sense. You don’t plant an apple seed and expect a mango tree. You don’t plant a vine and then reap potatoes. In the same way – many a time – what we sow into the kingdom and what we reap is the same. Jesus sowed his own life – he gave his own life into death – (the life was the seed) – and – thus – he reaped the harvest of many lives – including his own – in the resurrection of those that trust God. The disciples sowed their little lunch – a few loaves and a few fish – and then reaped the harvest of food multiplication which fed thousands with their little lunch.

This practical lesson also applies in what matters most to us: the forgiveness of our sins. The Bible teaches – Matthew 6:14-15: “For if you forgive people when they sin against you [if you sow forgiveness], your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive people their sins [if you refuse to sow forgiveness], your Father will not forgive your sins.” Therefore, we reap what we sow and – many a time – the seed and the harvest are of the same kind. We sow food and reap food. We sow forgiveness and reap forgiveness. Mr Howells and his wife sowed their readiness of taking the child of another missionary couple and then reaped that someone else took care of their child. Mr Howells and his wife sowed the right to be the parents of their son and then reaped 10,000 people who became their sons and daughters in the faith.

For that reason – and this is quite exciting – this morning – think about what you want. What do you want to harvest in your own life? This principle of sowing and reaping is working for you. If you want a better marriage, sow love into your husband or wife. You need to sow what you want. If you need more money to pay your bills, start sowing money into the kingdom of God (cf. Malachi 3:10). Suzette Hattingh – one of the teachers of the Prayer Schoolwanted more people to pray for their mission work. So she began sowing prayer for the work of others and – in due course – she reaped the harvest of more and more people praying for her own work. Sow what you want to reap.

[However, we acknowledge that God can extend the principle of sowing and reaping and make any kind of seed produce whatever harvest he wants – Romans 15:27: “ … if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” Galatians 6:6: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.” We can sow spiritual food and expect a material harvest of provisions.]

The last practical lesson for today is this: 3) Sow into good soil. Yes – on the one hand – we are sowing the seed of God’s word to anyone and do not worry about the seed that also falls on the foot-path or on rocky ground or the seed that falls among thorns (cf. Luke 8). We preach the good news of Jesus Christ in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). However – on the other hand – there is wisdom in sowing our seed into good soil.

One man had this experience – David Herzog: Mysteries Of The Glory Unveiled, Shippensburg: Destiny Image 2000, p77-79:

 

“I was attending an anointed conference, and the glory of God again was very strong … As the speaker ministered, suddenly people got up out of their seats and began to surge forward to bless him financially. They put money in his pockets. They left money on the pulpit. They even laid money on the floor at his feet. It was an outpouring of spontaneous giving. When I saw what was happening, I was reminded of the experience of those first-century believers: ‘Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common’ (Acts 4:32).

It was then that the amazing giving recorded in verse 35 began, and the Christians came laying gifts at the apostles' feet. I was surprised by the sudden rush to bless the servant of God I was witnessing, and my mind was questioning it. The minister was already very blessed and successful, and I found it hard to believe that he needed my money. He had a growing television ministry, and I had my own needs. There were many things that I wanted to do for God, and they would all require finances.

At the same time I was having these thoughts, the Holy Spirit was prompting me to give to the man as others were doing. I asked, ‘Lord, why do You want me to give to this man?’ The Lord told me, ‘Just do it,’ and assured me that He would explain the reasons behind it later. There was an explosion of God's glory in the place, and people kept getting up throughout the message and going forward to give. I was still battling between my mind and the Spirit, but the urging of the Spirit increased until I decided I should obey God.

My flesh and my human reasoning had won out long enough. After all, this man was reaching many more people with the Gospel than I was. He had not only his meetings and his television ministry, but also his books. I went forward and gave. Within days of my giving in that meeting, I was invited to speak on three different television programs around the United States. The Lord had been telling us that He would open television to us both here and in Europe, but we had wondered how we could afford it. Now we had it free, and many people were saved and healed through those programs. In just a week, I was able to reach thousands of people I might otherwise not have reached. When I sowed into the grace and favor another man was experiencing, that same favor came back upon my own life. When I went back to Europe, television opened to me there as well. People across Europe were blessed by the programs, and this opened new doors to us in many of the European countries. All of this was a result of my spontaneous giving.”

 

I don’t know whether you can follow the man’s thinking. It was new to me but this is fascinating. The speaker at this one conference was a blessed man and when he was preaching, many people from the congregation began blessing him even more financially. One observer thought that this was unnecessary. This speaker already had more than he needed and the observer had his own needs. Yet, sowing into the speaker’s life and work proved to be the smartest sowing the man could do. This was sowing into good soil and the blessings that were on the speaker (e.g.: TV ministry) – his measure of the glory of God – were released back into the life and work of the giver. As he sowed into the speaker, his own TV ministry took off.

Is this biblical? Is it right to think in the following way? For instance: I want the same intimate relationship with Jesus that Heidi Baker enjoys and the same power in preaching and performing miracles. Therefore, I can make the smart decision of sowing into her ministry. I can give money towards her work in Mozambique and in this way receive from the glory that is on her life. Is this how it works?

 

David Herzog: Mysteries Of The Glory Unveiled, Shippensburg: Destiny Image 2000, p82:

 

“I first heard about the gold teeth being manifested in Europe through a minister from Quebec. He had seen over two hundred and fifty teeth filled within four weeks in his ministry in Belgium and in the United States. I later called him and told him that we were just starting to see the same thing but sensed that God wanted to increase these signs upon our ministry for His glory. I asked him to pray for me to receive that same glory so I could use it to see more people touched. He prayed over me. When I hung up the phone, the Lord told me that it was not ‘a done deal’ yet. He told me to send a check to that man and sow into the glory that was upon his life. Again I questioned the Lord, but He told me, ‘Just do it.’ As soon as I obeyed, I saw that grace for gold teeth explode in our meetings. Within two weeks, more than a hundred teeth were filled and crowned in the series of meetings I was doing, and the manifestation continued to grow from there. Spontaneous obedience in giving brings spontaneous miracles of every kind.

 

One minister starts explaining this aspect of sowing and reaping in this way – David Herzog: Mysteries Of The Glory Unveiled, Shippensburg: Destiny Image 2000, p83-84:

 

“What does sowing have to do with the glory? Paul explains this in His writings. He says that as a minister sows a spiritual gift to the church, it is the believers’ responsibility to respond by sowing materially into that minister's life. [Romans 15:27: “ … if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.” Galatians 6:6: “Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.”] Some may have wondered why, after they have had hands laid on them during a revival for a special anointing, they never seem to see that anointing manifested in their lives. It could be because there needs to be a response to that anointing in a physical way. As I once heard my friend Renny McLean say, ‘Nothing sown, nothing grown.’

Some may work with a ministry, as Elisha did, and they will be blessed because of their contribution in that way. The disciples gave up all to follow Jesus, and after He was gone, they walked in the same power He had exhibited …

Money is only a tool. It enables you to do more. When a ministry has money, it magnifies the ability of that ministry to touch more people. When you give, you help magnify the ability of that ministry, enabling it to do more and reach farther. As a result, you take part of the grace that is upon that ministry. This is not the only way to accomplish it, but it is a key that God is revealing to us today that will unlock a new level of glory.”

 

Another Bible reading sheds further light on this matter – Matthew 10:40-42: “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”

In the most incredible way we can share in what people have from God by serving them and be it only giving them a cup of cold water. Receive a prophet and you share in his work and likewise receive a prophet’s reward. Receive a righteous man and – like him – receive a righteous man’s reward. Sow into the people that are close to God and share in what they have. This is good soil.

Again – what do you want to have? Sow into the people that are producing the kind of harvest that you want in your own life. For instance, if you need more compassion in your life, then you may want to sow into David Challenor and the Jubilee ministry. If you want a greater blessing on your business, then you may want to serve Andrew Youngberry who was here two weeks ago. If you want wisdom in getting a grip on life (the balance of work and rest and family and friends and church), then serve the person that has what you want. Do something for them. Sow into good soil.

[I know a church that wanted to purchase a few acres of land for a new church building. However, the owner did not want to sell the land to them. Then, this church sowed $10,000 into another church which – at least in terms of finances – had the glory of God on them with the result (if the interpretation is correct) that a few years later the church that had sowed the money received the land, which they had wanted, as a gift from the very same owner. Then, another church sowed thousands of dollars into the church which had the glory of God on them in terms of finances with the result that only a few days after sowing the money this church (in return) received a loan guarantee for hundreds of thousands of dollars from still another church. Lesson: Sow into good soil.]

[In terms of prayer we can sow into good soil by praying for the people of Israel – Genesis 12:3: “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”]

I come to a close. Here are the three practical lessons again: 1) You sow before you reap the harvest. 2) You sow what you want to harvest. 3) Sow into good soil.

Maybe I should mention that sowing for a harvest is not the same as buying the harvest. You cannot perform a good deed – sow a good deed – and then think that you have earned the harvest. This is ridiculous. God is far too amazing for that because the harvest is out of all proportion with our measly seed. Human investment strategies may yield a 10% growth rate and most of us would be happy with that but God does not just add 10% to our investment. He multiplies the seed. One seed become one hundred seeds which is a growth rate of 10,000%. [Cf. Matthew 13:31-32 and the parable of the Mustard Seed. This also applies to the bad seeds – Hosea 8:7: “The sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.] We don’t earn this but stand back in amazement. God is good. He loves us.

Think about the harvest that you want to have and then start sowing a seed. Give God a seed and then – in due season – reap with joy more than you ever thought possible. There is a miracle coming your way – a 10,000% seed explosion. You will have joy. With God – it is impossible to sow and not reap a harvest. Start sowing. Think about what you can sow this week. There will always be results. Always! Amen.